Suns streak past Warriors, Nets sink Knicks in NBA

Suns streak past Warriors, Nets sink Knicks in NBA
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JANUARY 28: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball against Mikal Bridges #25 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game at Phoenix Suns Arena on January 28, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Suns streak past Warriors, Nets sink Knicks in NBA
Suns streak past Warriors, Nets sink Knicks in NBA

The Phoenix Suns beat the Golden State Warriors 104-96 on Tuesday, extending their winning streak to 17 games despite an early injury to Devin Booker.

The highly anticipated matchup between the NBA’s two best teams did not disappoint, as Phoenix shut down Stephen Curry with an outstanding defensive effort.

The win propelled Phoenix to the top of the Western Conference, alongside Golden State, which entered Tuesday’s game in Phoenix riding a seven-game winning streak.

Phoenix and Golden State now share the Western Conference lead with 18 wins and three losses.

The Suns’ victory was all the more impressive given that star shooting guard Devin Booker left the game in the second quarter with a hamstring injury.

With Booker out, it was up to veteran Chris Paul to lead the Suns to victory in the second half.

Paul had 15 points, 11 assists, and six rebounds. DeAndre Ayton led the Suns in scoring with 24 points and 11 rebounds, but it was Phoenix’s defense that made the difference, holding the Warriors to just 18 points in the fourth quarter.

“We’re definitely improving defensively,” Suns coach Monty Williams said.

“This was just will and toughness to me… “Our team simply willed themselves to victory.”

Williams singled out Paul, the 36-year-old point guard who played 39 minutes after Booker went down with an injury.

“Chris playing 39 minutes demonstrates his will and dedication to the game,” Williams said. “We just had a few guys step up.”

Jordan Poole led the Warriors in scoring with 28 points, but Curry was limited to 12 points on a night when his usual accuracy from beyond the arc failed him.

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Harden cuts loose

In New York, James Harden delivered a spectacular performance, finishing with 34 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists as the Brooklyn Nets defeated the New York Knicks 112-110.

With 15 points in the first quarter, Harden gave Brooklyn the early lead, while Kevin Durant showed his class with 27 points overall.

Durant missed all five of his three-point attempts, but he was crucial in setting up looks for Harden, who was on fire.

For Brooklyn, Cam Thomas had 12 points and Patty Mills had ten.

The Knicks stayed in the game with five players scoring in double figures, led by Alec Burks’ 25 points and Julius Randle’s 24 points.

With 17.7 seconds remaining, Evan Fournier hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 110-110 for the Knicks.

However, on the game’s final possession, Durant cleverly created space for James Johnson, who was fouled and then nailed two free throws to seal the victory.

Johnson’s winning points came from the Nets’ 25 free-throw attempts, compared to the Knicks’ 12.

That disparity in free-throw percentages irritated Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau, who felt his team was not treated fairly throughout the game.

“I can tell you there’s a big disparity in free throws,” Thibodeau said.

“I don’t care what the game is called, I really don’t.” “You can call it tight or loose β€” but it has to be the same.”

In Sacramento, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Sacramento Kings 117-92 despite the absence of LeBron James.

After entering the NBA’s Covid-19 protocols, James was ruled out of the game early Tuesday.

After leading by nine points at halftime, the Kings appeared to be poised to take advantage of the reorganized Lakers lineup.

However, a Lakers scoring blitz after the break β€” outscoring the Kings 67-33 in the second half β€” capped off an impressive comeback by the 2020 NBA champions.

Anthony Davis led the Lakers in scoring with 25 points, while Russell Westbrook chipped in with 23. Malik Monk scored 22 points off the bench.

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